Wedding dresses

Not for mine, I’ve been married ages, but I’ve been wedding dress shopping with two different brides in the last few weeks.  Both of them are gorgeous and slim, and all of the dresses look amazing on them; so amazing, in fact, that it makes me want to get married again!  Still to Barry, don’t worry.

Confession – I actually had three wedding dresses as it is: one I never wore, one I had to buy quickly as we got married at short notice as my dad was ill, and another for a blessing with our friends and family as the vicar wouldn’t let me wear my actual wedding dress.  So it’s not like I didn’t have the opportunity!  Lace is in at the moment though, and I have a little regret about how plain my actual wedding dress was, even though that’s exactly what I wanted at the time.

After I got married, I started thinking about what a great thing it would be to have a wedding dress shop and make all those brides so happy!  I’d serve champagne, and I would cry when they tried the dress on, maybe even design a few dresses… I’m looking at it through rose tinted glasses.  It would probably be more like me trying to clean fake tan and foundation off the delicate necklines and getting done for serving alcohol to underage relatives.

My new idea is sewing for little people.  I’m getting a bit ahead of myself – I’ve asked my lovely husband for a sewing machine for my birthday (one that I don’t have to turn by hand!) and I have lots of grand ideas of making clothes for Scarlett, and if I turn out to be any good, making them for other tots too.

My shameful secret

I may get lambasted for this by the pro-craft crowd, but I’m a bit embarrassed to admit… my name’s Michelle and I like to cross-stitch.  Lambasted for the embarrassment, not for the sewing itself.  I’m not getting any time to do it at the moment, but I started a baby sampler for Scarlett’s room before she was born and I am going to try my best to finish it soon.  Before she’s five.  Definitely before she’s ten.  Would it be a nice graduation present?

I love doing little bits as gifts for people, I’ve only ever had them gratefully received as I think you can see the time, work and care that goes into them.  I’ve sewn cards, bookmarks, and framed pictures, small and large.  I’ve made quite a few birth samplers, including one that I started when I was about fourteen or fifteen and took me years to complete.  It was around A3 sized and a lot of it was a deep blue – I remember clearly taking care over every stitch.  Couldn’t wait to start another colour.

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More cushions

Chair with seat and back

I’ve just finished the back cushion for the nursing chair.  I sewed it much the same as the seat cushion, except it was much thinner, so I managed to sew the fourth side closed, rather than having to use velcro like I did with the seat.

I tried to judge where the tabs were to attach it to the chair by eye, just looking at the old cushion cover.  This went drastically wrong, and the velcro was hanging on by the skin of its metaphorical teeth because the tabs were in the wrong place.

Chair with seat back and cushions



When Barry then yanked the cushion off the seat (WHY?) on the day I finished it, I then burst into tears and had a bit of a paddy.  Mostly baby-related, I’m sure.  I’ve now taken the tabs off and reattached them, using the chair as a guide this time instead of, erm, nothing.

The arms have also now been completed.  These were made from scratch with some foam I bought from eBay.  The previous arm cushions had three press studs on the underside of each arm to hold them in place, so I also bought some silver coloured heavy duty studs from eBay that I hoped would fit the same studs (they did, phew!).

Chair with armsI sewed a pocket into the cushions (as the previous ones had them, although I’m not sure I’ll use them), and used the sewing machine to close all four sides.  When the heavy duty studs arrived, it turns out they weren’t long enough to go through several layers of heavy duty upholstery fabric, so Barry tested them and it turned out they can go through two layers.  I had to unpick one side of the sewing I’d done, Barry got to work in a manly fashion to hammer the studs into place, and then I resewed (is that a word?) that side closed.

Arm pocket

It’s not amazing craftsmanship, so you can’t look too closely, but I am very proud of this chair!  I’m hoping when the weather brightens up a bit, Barry will take up the painting mantle and paint it white.

Just waiting now for some staples to arrive and we can do the last part – the stool.

Chair fabrics

Upholstery fabrics

These are the three fabric samples I ordered for the nursing chair.  The bottom one’s very much like the fabric on our sofa at the moment, a slate grey, and the top one doesn’t look as nice in real life as it appears in pictures.  It just so happens (and this never happens!) that I like the cheapest one (the middle one).

It’s supposed to be grey-beige but looks like the platinum one we had our eye on when we went to the upholsterers.  It’s £8.99/m and the eBay seller lives about 5 minutes from my house so I can collect it.  The upholsterers thought we’d need 3.5m of material, so I think I might get 5m, just to be on the safe side.

Looking at the other items this eBay seller has, I’m wondering if I need more supplies.  They seem to have upholstery nails and jute webbing, and I don’t even know what they’re for.  Still awaiting these books from the library, hopefully they can shed some light on it.  I know I need some more foam for the arms, but I think the other cushions are fine.

My friend Charlie’s an angel and has already brought her sewing machine around for me to use once we’ve got the fabric sorted.  It’ll be a bit trial and error though because none of us can remember how to use a sewing machine.  It’ll be better than the Singer though as it has a foot pedal so there’s a real chance I might be able to sew in a somewhat straight line this time.

Oh, Christmas tree

Oh Christmas tree 2012Has everyone got their Christmas decorations up yet?  I spent Friday night doing that and wrapping presents.  Not all of the presents – I have a threshold – I managed about half and now I’ll have to wait another week before I can face wrapping anything more.

There’s a rule in our house that we can’t have anything Christmassy up until at least a week after my birthday, which is at the end of November (it’s usually two weeks but I jumped ahead this year because I’m excited about Christmas).

Most of my shopping is done now, just a few bits left to get.  On more of a countdown than usual this year as I’m finishing work at Christmas (hurray!).  Nine working days to go!

Booties

One of my schoolfriends who moved away to France after university is expecting the same day as me, so I decided to get crafty and make her a little present – here’s the result…

The booties were a lot less traumatic to sew than the supergirl boots!  I’m working on a sampler at the moment for the nursery, hopefully I’ll get a bit more time to do that when I’m on maternity.